From: Bob Witanek
Posted: Michael Novick
ATLANTA (AP) - Three people who say they witnessed a shootout at a motorcycle shop have accused police of executing a man as he tried to crawl away on a sidewalk and then lying about what happened.
The shootout began Dec. 7 after plainclothes officers, mistakenly believing the shop was being robbed, burst in with weapons drawn,police said. An employee thought the officers were robbers and fired his gun.
Police have said that a man in the store, Jerry Jackson, was hit by a ricocheting bullet inside the Moto Cycles shop as officers returned fire. Two others were wounded, including a police officer.
But Jeanna Shiver, Bill Hallman and Serina Whitener say they watched from a fourth-story window as a plainclothes policeman shot Jackson on the sidewalk below. They went public after hearing the official account.
``I was just dumbfounded at the news reports, and how none of it was true,'' said Ms. Shiver, a 35-year-old textile sales representative.
Shiver said she and the others watched as Jackson tried to crawl away from a man with a gun. They said they later learned the second man was a police officer.
``I saw someone aiming at a person laying on the ground (who) looked like he was pleading, `Please don't shoot me anymore,''' Ms. Shiver said, demonstrating by extending her right hand, palm up.``That's what the hand looked like and then the person continued to fire at him. That seemed deliberate to me. That's why I didn't think it was a police officer.'' The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that no blood was evident inside the shop shortly after the shootout.
It was not immediately known whether Jackson had a gun.
District Attorney Lewis Slaton said his office would investigate. Police Chief Beverly Harvard scheduled a news conference Thursday to discuss the allegations.
Ms. Shiver said she offered a statement to an officer at the crime scene but was told he didn't need it. None of the three was interviewed by police.
``I don't think they care about the truth,'' Ms. Whitener said
Wednesday. AP-NY-12-28-95 1715EST Copied from the PRODIGY(R) service